Trade Desk tries to woo advertisers at CES with ‘Galileo’ – a proposal to define an ‘Open Internet’ without cookies

CES is a gadget showcase, but Adland’s digerati are also headed to Las Vegas this week, where the Trade Desk will present its “Galileo” offering as a strategic lynchpin for the long-delayed launch of Unified ID 2.0.

At its core, Galileo is an advertiser-focused offering developed by The Trade Desk that aims to help brands chart the web through its platform without traditional targeting tools like third-party cookies.

The demand-side platform offers advertisers uploading first-party data to Galileo to target their desired audience on the “open web” with a Unified ID 2.0 or “UID2” serving as the anchor point of the offer.

Galileo is seen as a tonic to the growing headaches of advertisers worried about how to protect their online audience targets after Google Chrome stops using third-party cookies next year.

In theory, this kind of flexibility will attract enough advertisers that publishers, who are the core of Galileo’s audience-matching proposition, will find UID2 attractive, but some still need convincing.

What is Galileo and how does it work?

Helping advertisers match first-party data with comparable data sets elsewhere on the web, Galileo’s main selling point is that it helps reduce the headaches associated with matching different audience types using different technologies. That’s because it offers “direct onboarding integrations” with all major customer relationship management (CRM), customer data platforms (CDP), plus data and cleanroom providers.

Samantha Jacobson, senior strategist at Trading Desk, detailed how it aims to address fragmentation concerns of advertisers after the sun sets on third-party cookies. This is because Galileo has direct integration with CRM, CDP and cleanroom providers including Adobe, Amazon Web Services, Habu, InfoSum, LiveRamp, Salesforce and Snowflake.

UID2 is one of the various “audience identifiers” supported by Galileo, and is the basis of the latest offering, given that audience members use the same email addresses they use to register with media outlets.

Publishers can then use hashed versions of these email addresses to generate a UID2, which is then used to cross-reference with similarly hashed advertiser email data to identify correlated audiences. From here, media traders can start negotiating deals.

Buyers love it, but publishers…

In recent weeks and months, The Trade Desk has won some of the industry’s biggest broadcasters over to UID2, with Disney and Paramount agreeing to use the audience matching tool, but others (especially legacy publishers) aren’t so easily convinced.

According to The Trade Desk, which previously reported working with Vox and The Washington, more than 50 North American media owners have gone live with UID2, exposing their advertisers to an addressable base of more than 3 billion devices using this targeting methodology. Post.

UID2 has been bought by the buy side of the industry – a constituency where star names like Procter & Gamble have endorsed UID2 – meaning Galileo’s adoption seems like a no-brainer, in fact.

There are very few ecosystems that are large enough to form walled gardens by themselves

Samantha Jacobson, CSO, Trading Desk

However, some are reluctant to feed their first-party with an industry-wide solution that could take ad spending out of their coffers and into the long tail of the internet. Speaking to Digiday, however, Jacobson disputed that claim, adding that the connection to UID2 does not involve engaging in “some kind of collaboration where they contribute their data for use by others.”

He went on to highlight a collective “open internet” ethos where small companies battle Big Tech for ad spend. Jacobson added, “There are very few ecosystems that are large enough to be walled gardens on their own… I certainly don’t know of a journalistic publication that is large enough to sustain a separate line item in an advertiser’s budget.”

“Everyone is trying to hedge their bets”

Representatives from publisher-focused trade organizations, including the Association of Online Publishers, Digital Content Next and, could not respond to Digiday’s inquiries about their members’ UID2 relationship by press time.

Over the past 18 months, the Trade Desk has attempted to (effectively) devolve the governorship of UID2, only to be rebuffed by the leadership of such trade bodies – an erosion of traditional policy taking place in the industry. targeting efforts are ongoing.

However, a senior source at a major publisher noted that while the Trade Desk’s efforts to lobby this constituency have been welcomed in recent weeks, such players often have different motivations.

“Everyone is trying to hedge their bets,” added the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press. “There’s a lot of mixed feelings about UID2, and part of it is a desire to do more direct work with advertisers… but at the same time, the Trade Desk is a significant player.”

It’s still the Wild West in terms of the personality of the whole thing

Ameet Shah, Partner, Prohaska Consulting

Meanwhile, Ratko Vidakovic, founder of consultancy AdProfs, noted that if UID2s are an important part of its audience matching proposition, “the publisher side is an important component” for Galileo’s implementation to succeed.

“Without that, the whole scheme falls apart,” he said, adding: “I think Google Chrome delaying third-party amortization by a year or two didn’t do UID2 or any other deterministic ID solution any favors. [in terms of adoption]… I think this has taken any urgency out of many publishers’ efforts to implement opt-in strategies.”

Speaking separately, Ameet Shah, partner at Prohaska Consulting, noted the urgency required even as many in the publishing sector have pressing concerns about how to deploy resources in the face of a prolonged economic downturn.

“I think publishers have to experiment and determine what works best for them,” he added, “it’s still very much the Wild West in terms of the identity of the whole thing… Whether things like Vendor-Defined Audiences will gain any traction is unknown, I think many will.experiment with as many personality partners as they can.

Hidden competition

The reaction to Galileo at CES will represent a critical milestone in how the Trading Desk’s 2023 playbook will evolve, with sources telling Digiday that DSP’s pitch will face competition from both commercial adversaries and regulators.

Amazon, the most powerful player in advertising, is attracting media players to hold meetings in Las Vegas in the next few days, several publisher-side sources told Digiday. Similarly, Google (whose PAIR initiative has been likened to Galileo by several sources) has been lobbying for advertisers’ attention in recent weeks.

However, this is the biggest problem with Galileo and UID2 is controversial Data protection authorities, especially in the EU, are increasingly presenting their teeth further than they bare them. For example, on the eve of the official opening of CES, Meta Coimisiún um Fördehäinen Dataina – which effectively manages the industry’s GDPR compliance – received a significant body blow in the form of a €400 million fine (that’s close to $425 million) from Ireland’s Data Protection Commission. Big Tech players.

Some believe such a decision could have a domino effect on independent ad tech providers — after all, privacy concerns affected UID2’s entry into the EU — which will support any such pitches in the conference halls of this year’s CES.

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